PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Members of a support group for clergy molestation victims, called ‘SNAP,’ protested outside the Philadelphia Archdiocese headquarters Friday, urging Archbishop Cardinal Rigali to ‘immediately suspend dozens of accused clerics.’ It follows the stunning grand jury report on priest abuse.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) agrees with grand jurors who conclude ‘not much has changed’ since a scathing 2005 report by another grand jury: the archdiocese has ‘betrayed once again’ the victims who report to its staffers.
David Clohessy is with SNAP and says the safety of children must come first. “If we err at all, we must always err on the side of protecting innocent kids over an accused criminal.”
He agrees with District Attorney Seth Williams that allegations should go to the DA, not the church:
“The one untried approach really has been criminal prosecution of those who ignore and conceal crimes,” said Clohessy.
One bystander, who was walking nearby, became a participant. Father Charles Zlock of St. Mary of the Assumption in Manayunk asked to pray with the group.
“This is what it means to be a priest. We’re just trying to be there for and with our people.”
Reported By Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio.